As the great song from Porgy and Bess proclaims, “summertime and the living is easy.”  Many people take vacations to take a break from the responsibilities of work and running a household, however few of us seem to want to take a break from being connected to the world through our cellphones and that poses a particular threat to our security when we use public Wi-Fi in coffee shops, airports, hotels and other places while on vacation.  Whenever you use public Wi-Fi, there are two problems.  First, you can’t be sure that you are actually using the public Wi-Fi and not a phony Wi-Fi readily set up by a hacker sitting near you who is stealing your information and second, someone may be able to hack into your device while you are on the legitimate public Wi-Fi.
Whatever electronic device you are using to connect to a Wi-Fi network, whether it is a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone should be equipped with up to date security software.  In addition, you should have encryption software so that your communications are encoded.  You also should go to your settings and turn off sharing.  In addition, you should make sure that your firewall is current and turned on.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you should consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which enables you to send your communications through a separate and secure private network even while you are on a public network.  Here is a link to an article that lists ten good VPNs that you can get for free.